Nicola Stephenson talks about her dramatic exit from Emmerdale as Tess is struck by a car and left for dead. Tess has been having an affair with Paddy who shows up along with his wife, Rhona, and she gets a chance to tell him she loves him before she passes away after being taken to hospital. Emmerdale can be seen weekday evenings at 7pm with a second episode on Thursday evenings as 8pm.
Poor Tess! Are you sad to see her go?
Not at all! I've had an absolute ball doing Emmerdale so on the one hand I am sad not to be working with Dom and Zoe any more but I'm always quite excited at the end of a job about what opportunities are coming next. I'm really looking forward to playing someone new.
The stunt looked brilliant, how was it to film?
Well easy for me. We had an amazing stunt woman who just blew everyone away with her skill and fearlessness. She was awesome and the stunt looked amazing.
Thank god everything ran smoothly although I did do rather a lot of lying on a dirty road in freezing January weather but it was all made so worthwhile by the fantastic story we got to act.
Do you think Tess really loved Paddy?
I do. Although I think she chose the wrong person to fall in love with. I think her choices might have been smarter had she not been so unhappy. With her relationship, and the fact that she's never had children.
Do you think he loved her?
No, I think he loves Rhona. I think he got himself into a really destructive situation, the illicit desire probably felt like love and then the guilt of her dying probably makes him even more confused but I think at the end of the day he loves Rhona.
Her husband Pierce (played by Jonathan Wrather) was introduced in this episode, did you meet Jonathan?
No, weirdly we never did any scenes together, we didn’t even bump into each other in the canteen!
Have you enjoyed your time on Emmerdale?
I have loved it. Genuinely it has been a lovely experience to do such a meaty storyline with such fine, dedicated, generous actors who are now good chums. It's been an absolute joy to come in an get such a juicy storyline straight away. The writers have created a fantastic story with great twists and turns that have kept the audience hooked in all the way along. I've been really lucky.
Who have you enjoyed working with?
Everyone. I wish I’d had the chance to work more with other actors in the show, as I've got some old friends there but then that would have been a different story!
Will you keep watching to see how Paddy and Rhona's marriage plays out?
Of course, although I have to watch on catch up as 7pm is bath time in our house.
What are your plans for the future?
At the moment I am reading scripts and auditioning for different roles. I have theatre and TV work that I'm either considering or waiting to hear about. It's an exciting and nail biting time for an actor when you're in between jobs. You always think " I'm never going to work again" but then something fantastic comes along (or it has so far-touch wood).